New United States Football League

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New United States Football League
Newest USFL Logo 2013.png
Sport American football
Founded 2008
No. of teams 8
Country USA

The United States Football League is a proposed American professional football league founded in 2008 and scheduled to begin play in the spring of 2015.[1] Three different individuals have directed the league since 2008. The league is also known as the New United States Football League to distinguish it from the 1983-85 league of the same name.

Unlike the competing spring league the A11FL and the original USFL, this USFL is currently envisioned as a farm system league, more akin to what the recently defunct United Football League strove to become in its later days. The New USFL's leadership hopes to provide players and personnel the opportunity to develop their skills and enhance their odds of making professional rosters in the National Football League and Canadian Football League.

The league has publicly expressed an interest to also provide mentorship and training programs to help players prepare for their lives after football, but it is unclear if this is still part of the new USFL's corporate mission.

Although it will follow basic NFL and college football rules, the New USFL has asked fans to volunteer rule changes. Popular fan suggestions include 50+ yard field goals counting as 4 points, a receiver being able to motion prior to play, and a widening of the traditional American Football field.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

History[edit]

The first New USFL Logo (2012-2013, never used)

The New USFL was founded in 2008 by Southern California businessman Michael Dwyer. Dywer announced 12 target states for USFL teams in 2008. States specified were Nevada, California (2), (Portland) Oregon, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas, New York, Michigan, Ohio, and Alabama[7] and assembled an advisory board of people who had previously worked in pro football before drastically limiting the information he released to fans.

After three years of failed efforts to build a functional league, Dwyer sold the USFL brand to EndZone Sports Management, an entity headed by Jaime Cuadra headquartered in San Diego.[8]

Cuadra was a natural promoter very open to discussing the league's progress. On July 20, 2011, on the radio show "Vegas Unwrapped",[9] Cuadra said the league was close to getting their funding secured and hoped to start play in the spring of 2012. He named a series of team locations.

States and cities Cuadra listed were Michigan, Columbus (OH), Norfolk (VA), Orlando (FL), Memphis (TN), Jackson (MS), Los Angeles (CA), Salt Lake City (UT), and either Little Rock (AR) or Shreveport (LA), San Antonio (TX) or another Texas city, and either Sacramento (CA) or Portland (OR). He also mentioned that there were a couple of groups that might be in play for a fourth northeastern slot.

In that interview, Cuadra also suggested the New USFL leadership would be open to inviting some UFL teams to join the New USFL. Such a merger did not occur and the New USFL did not launch in 2012.

By May 10, 2012, the Cuadra-led league was trumpeting Portland (OR), Salt Lake City (UT), San Antonio (TX) or Austin (TX), Columbus (OH) or Akron (OH), Oklahoma City (OK), Omaha (NE), Raleigh/Durham (NC), Birmingham (AL) and Memphis (TN) as team sites.[10]

Later the Cuadra-run USFL expected to play a 14-game regular season from March to June starting in the spring of 2013.[11] The league did not launch in the spring of 2013 either.

There were plans to launch in 2014, but those plans were delayed after President and CEO Cuadra was forced to resign from his league duties in February 2013 in the midst of a scandal. On June 24, 2013, Cuadra plead guilty to embezzling more than $1 million from two San Diego companies and using the money to fund the new USFL.[12]

Jim Bailey (a former longtime NFL executive) took over as the new CEO of the new USFL and posted an official statement from the league on their new website the following day.[13]

The second New USFL Logo (2013, never used)

The rights for the New USFL were acquired by a new entity, Touchdown Management, LLC (headed by Bailey) on August 1, 2013. Bailey posted an official statement on the league's blog stating a commitment to continue developing the new league and a desire to move on from the messy Cuadra era of the recent past.[8]

The new league still plans to field eight teams and play a 14-game regular season although the projected launch date has now been pushed back to 2015. The plan is for the season to start in mid-March and culminate with a championship game in mid-July prior to the start of NFL training camps.[14]

Key Personnel[edit]

Executive Officers [1][edit]

  • Jim Bailey – CEO
  • Fred Biletnikoff, Jr. – COO/Football Operations
  • Bill Miltner – Executive Vice President/Administration & Legal
  • Paul Byrne – CFO

Former Advisory Board (Unconfirmed If Still In Place)[edit]

BUSINESS OPERATIONS

Teams[edit]

The New USFL's latest incarnation has not released the locations of its teams. Officially it has stated it has a criteria for finding underserved markets that includes avoiding NFL and MLB markets, which the current leadership considers saturated markets.[15]

In terms of team names, earlier plans had left open the possibility of reviving teams from the old USFL, but the A-11 Football League ended up acquiring the intellectual property rights to most of the old USFL team names.

Possible Target Cities for Franchises[edit]

* = Past USFL cities
X = NFL or MLB cities

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c [1][dead link]
  2. ^ USFL plans to relaunch in 2013, Associated Press (posted at ESPN.com), May 10, 2012
  3. ^ USFL will restart next March; not as a competitor to NFL but as an ally, Josh Katzowitz, CBSSports.com, May 12, 2012
  4. ^ FOOTBALL: San Diego group's plan to resurrect USFL generating quite a buzz, Brian Hilo, North County Times, May 28, 2012
  5. ^ USFL hopes to rebuild as developmental league, Louis San Miguel, The Daily Texan, June 15, 2012
  6. ^ Man who owns USFL's rights hopes to start in spring, work with NFL, Greg Auman, Tampa Bay Times, June 24, 2012
  7. ^ "The New USFL - News & Updates". Web.archive.org. Retrieved December 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "A New Beginning for the USFL". Blog.theusfl.com. August 7, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Xfl Scramble - "Vegas Unwrapped" Michael Dwyer Interview". Facebook. July 20, 2011. Retrieved December 15, 2013. [unreliable source?]
  10. ^ "USFL to return with Fred Biletnikoff among advisers - ESPN". Espn.go.com. May 10, 2012. Retrieved December 15, 2013. 
  11. ^ Katzowitz, Josh. "USFL will restart next March; not as a competitor to NFL but as an ally". CBSSports.com. Retrieved December 15, 2013. 
  12. ^ "A Panthers tale: 30 years later, owner Taubman recalls Detroit's one-shot pro football champs | Crain's Detroit Business". Crainsdetroit.com. Retrieved December 15, 2013. 
  13. ^ [2][dead link]
  14. ^ [3][dead link]
  15. ^ "USFL in Search of Underserved Pro Markets". Blog.theusfl.com. October 8, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2013. 
  16. ^ Carol Biliczky (January 30, 2013). "University of Akron sells Rubber Bowl to marketing group eyeing USFL team". Ohio.com. Retrieved December 15, 2013. 
  17. ^ By Bassgtrzan (July 16, 2012). "WRAL". Wralsportsfan.com. Retrieved December 15, 2013. 

External links[edit]